Early Fla. Voters Hit Hours-Long Lines

Lines overwhelming at FL early voting sites
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Oct 22, 2008 11:02 AM CDT
Voters wait to check in before they vote in Miami, Monday, Oct. 20, 2008. The polls opened for the first day of early voting in the state of Florida.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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(Newser) – Early voters in Florida, where polling places opened Monday, endured daunting lines and 2- to 5-hour waits to cast their ballots, reports the Miami Herald. Democrats contend that the blame goes to a law passed in 2005 cutting the number of hours per day that early voting is available from 12 to 8. Early voters tend to tilt Democratic, and the law was passed by Florida's Republican legislature and governor.

“They were using their power, their majority, to make it harder for people to vote, to gain a political advantage,” says the House minority leader. Republicans say the law imposed necessary uniformity and saved money. One polling place closed its doors at 3pm, but it took five more hours for people already inside to vote. Another had a line of 150 waiting when the doors opened; ''We're stuck in lines trying to avoid the lines,'' quipped one man on the line. (Read more Election 2008 stories.)